My first piggy - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
Guinea Pig Discussion Popcorns, wheeks, and all else piggy.

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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-21-2008, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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My first piggy

Well, generally speaking I'm a rat person, but I've been doing some research on piggies and I got my first one this weekend. He's only a couple of months old and he's silver and white, very pretty. He's still a little skittish but I'll post pics soon. He's warming up to me, but he's terrified of Chris (Christopher is big and prone to sudden movements!) It's really been keeping me entertained though because every time Chris reaches in to touch him Humphrey screams bloody murder like an abused child. The first time he did it I though Chris was going to pee himself!

Right now I have him in a large tank. He's getting a guinea pig pellet food plus some hay, some vit C treats and some vit c supplement. Right now I'm trying to handle him a lot to ensure he has enough socialization because my understanding is that males housed together will usually fight. Is this correct? Can anyone think of anything else I should be doing? He has toys, fleece, and a nice hidey hole in his cage as well.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-21-2008, 08:01 PM
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No, it's incorrect that males will usually fight. Guinea pigs in general will usually fight when their cages are too small.

Check out http://www.guineapigcages.com

Guinea pigs shouldn't be in tanks (much like with rats) because of the potential respiratory problems, and the tanks are just too small. A single piggie needs at least 7.5 square feet of space.

I'd recommend checking out http://www.guinealynx.info, as they've got some of the best guinea pig care information on the internet.

We are as gods to the beasts of the fields. We order the time o' their birth and the time o' their death. Between times, we ha' a duty. - Terry Pratchett.

"Men have forgotten this truth", said the fox, "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-22-2008, 01:00 AM
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thats right.. i noticed.. we have a some piggy before...
by the way.. looking forward to see some pic of your piggy.. ;-)


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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-22-2008, 09:30 AM Thread Starter
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The glass tank is temporary. I'm setting up a bigger freer enclosure for him, but I'm having to do it a little at a time on my time off. I didn't figure the class tank will hurt for about a week, do you?

And are you sure that it's a good idea to put males together? Once we have him settle in his permanent home, I'd love to get another male to keep him company, but several of the websites we've found while doing research said that many males will fight regardless of the size of the enclosure. Literally everything I've read said that naturally they would live in groups of one male to two or more females. We were even thinking of maybe having him fixed and then getting him some girly buddies. Are y'all successfully keeping males together without fighting?
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-22-2008, 01:00 PM
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I have personally helped pair 150 pairs of males over the past 3 years of rescue between our pigs, and our adopters pigs. We have had one serious fight in that time that resulted in injury to the pigs, and that was in an already rocky pairing that we sent to a foster home to let settle down. They brought a female into the house to "meet" the pigs, and they started fighting over the girl. Until they did that, even that relatively rocky pairing was fine.

Up until last year, I had 3 boars who lived together. Gizmo passed last summer, and now Mogwai and Pica live together.

http://www.guinealynx.info/forums <-- the forums there have literally thousands of people who keep pairs of boars, as do the forums at guineapigcages.com

I'm actually going this weekend to introduce a rescued boar to another boar this weekend. I like boar/boar pairings, as they tend to settle out quickly.

Keep in mind that most of the literature is extremely out of date and/or authored by breeders who are trying to pair males in extremely small cages and generally in a building full of females who are in heat.

Here are some of the males I've helped pair up:


Peanut and Popcorn (though you can only see Peanut's butt. They're both around 4-5.


Mogwai, Pica, and Gizmo (before Gizmo's passing last year)

Here are Mogwai and Pica, after Gizmo's passing:


3 years ago we took in 30 young males from a backyard breeder. More than half ended up being paired with other males. Some were neutered and paired with females to help them get adopted (as we didn't have females in at the time).

If you check out the reputable guinea pig rescues, most also routinely pair males.

Will some males fight? Yes. But some females will fight, and some females will fight with males. We had a female scale a cage wall to attack a male last year. It's not only a function of gender.

We are as gods to the beasts of the fields. We order the time o' their birth and the time o' their death. Between times, we ha' a duty. - Terry Pratchett.

"Men have forgotten this truth", said the fox, "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-22-2008, 01:50 PM
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Jennicat- I like your gp setup in the last pic it looks spacious and the gp really seem to love it; what type of flooring is that blue thing? Is it permanent and how often do you change it?


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i will hold you forever
i will stand beside you forever
keep fighting
keep breathing
hold onto me and dont let go
NEVER let go
you are my world
make it through
i pray for you

VIXEY- March 25, 1994- October 11, 2006 at 10pm
SKRAT- October 21, 2005- January 15, 2007 at 5am
BAXTER- January 30, 2007
I will love you forever, always

Next time we meet again, it will be FOREVER

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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-22-2008, 04:19 PM
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It's a C&C cage, like at Guineapigcages.com. It's a 2x4 for my two boys. I bed everybody on fleece blankets. I put down 2-3 layers of towels, and then fleece on top and wrap it around the edges. Then I vacuum it once a day. The pigs LOVE it, they do all kinds of popcorns on new fleece day!

We are as gods to the beasts of the fields. We order the time o' their birth and the time o' their death. Between times, we ha' a duty. - Terry Pratchett.

"Men have forgotten this truth", said the fox, "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-22-2008, 10:25 PM
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congrats on your piggy!
My sister has five boys- two in one cage, three in another. She started out with one, and sought out a friend for him. She built a c&c cage for them, and put a divider in the middle so they were on seperate sides. It wasn't very tall, and they figured out how to get over it after a few days, and stayed on the same side together. Now they have a 2 story, 3X5 grid cage, which is huge, and they are very happy. No fights.

4 cats: Radar, Oscar, Mackintosh, Qwilleran
1 dog: Daphne
3 rabbits: Barbarella Bunny. DC's Lucy, Ricky
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8 assorted tarantulas
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-23-2008, 11:14 AM Thread Starter
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Okay well thanks for all the great information. I think I'm going to get some of the grid shelves and put together a pin for them. After the pin is built and Humphrey is through is quarantine period I will go right out and find him a nice friend. What baffles me is why so much of the literature you find advises against keeping males together. I literally found website after website that made it sound like if you had two males that weren't raised together from birth then you had a 50/50 chance of some serious fighting. That's why I got one because I figured hey, I don't want to risk ending up with two lonely males that have to be housed separately plus some vet bills. But hearing all your success stories has certainly persuaded me.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-23-2008, 01:13 PM
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I think many people keep their piggies in pet store cages that are WAY too small, so that would definitely be a reason why people think males can't live together. Of course they are going to fight if they are in each other's face all the time!

Maureen


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Six new rats
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-23-2008, 01:18 PM
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No, it is incorrect that males fight. However tow males are fine.. i had three two ganged up on the other male and this resulted in me having to purchse yet another hutch.

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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-27-2008, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
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Well we purchased another male piggy. This one is strawberry blond and white with pink eyes. He has the fur with rosettes (although they look more like cowlicks to me.) They are both in quarantine in separate very large glass tanks.

After I saw some of your guinea pig cages I got right to work. We actually had a set up similar to the c&c cages that we constructed for a rabbit we had a long time ago. We made it by getting those grid shelves that connect together in basically the same way as the c & c cages. Now we're doing the same thing again. When finished it will have the grid for the sides about two feet high. and then about 4'X2'. Then we bought really cheap blankets to lay down as the substrate (bought cheap ones so that we can have several and change them out to wash frequently.) Then we got a shall tray that will cover a large area on one end of the enclosure to serve as a litter pan. The rabbit loved that and I think the boys will too.

They are so different! Humphrey, the gray and white, is very food motivated. He screams a lot, and it took us the first two days to figure out he's screaming for food! Sure enough he shuts up when you offer him a different kind of food than he has. He's just in general very vocal though he's always, chattering, purring, or wheeking about something.

But Ralphie is nearly always silent, he's not curious, doesn't want to run around like Humphrey, just wants to be quietly stroked and cuddled.
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-27-2008, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennicat View Post
It's a C&C cage, like at Guineapigcages.com. It's a 2x4 for my two boys. I bed everybody on fleece blankets. I put down 2-3 layers of towels, and then fleece on top and wrap it around the edges. Then I vacuum it once a day. The pigs LOVE it, they do all kinds of popcorns on new fleece day!
hmmm...I really love that idea, makes daily maintenance easy..I may have to steal your idea


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i will hold you forever
i will stand beside you forever
keep fighting
keep breathing
hold onto me and dont let go
NEVER let go
you are my world
make it through
i pray for you

VIXEY- March 25, 1994- October 11, 2006 at 10pm
SKRAT- October 21, 2005- January 15, 2007 at 5am
BAXTER- January 30, 2007
I will love you forever, always

Next time we meet again, it will be FOREVER

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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-28-2008, 12:13 PM
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I think he has warmed up to me nicely thank you. Yeah I make them nervous sometimes but they don't scream at me. But boy do they wheek when they get on my shoulder. I guess they figure find the highest point to make their food desires known.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-31-2008, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennicat View Post
It's a C&C cage, like at Guineapigcages.com. It's a 2x4 for my two boys. I bed everybody on fleece blankets. I put down 2-3 layers of towels, and then fleece on top and wrap it around the edges. Then I vacuum it once a day. The pigs LOVE it, they do all kinds of popcorns on new fleece day!

What happens if they chew on the fleece? Can it hurt them? I guess it will just pass throu them if they do eat it... I'm guess the answer is it will do them now harm, if you are using it..

Adopt a Rodent from a rescue places instead of buying one at a pet store!
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